Lions continue rubbing in referee's mistake, Dan Skipper reports as eligible and makes catch

Whatever the Detroit Lions social media team is being paid, it's not enough.

As offensive lineman Taylor Decker walked into Ford Field on Sunday before the Lions' game against the Minnesota Vikings, the social team highlighted him "reporting" for duty.

Then Decker chimed in, and said it wasn't him.

The Lions social team "corrected" itself and posted a video of fellow offensive lineman Dan Skipper walking in.

For those not in the know, this was all one poke at what happened in the final moments of the Lions' 20-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys a week ago.

Decker reported as an eligible receiver and caught the 2-point conversion to give Detroit a 21-20 lead over the Cowboys with less than a minute in the game.

Not so fast, said the officials!

They ruled that Decker — No. 68 — was an ineligible receiver, and that No. 70, Dan Skipper, had reported as eligible.

Taylor Decker and the Detroit Lions had some fun ahead of their regular-season finale. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Taylor Decker and the Detroit Lions had some fun ahead of their regular-season finale. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

Skipper said he didn't say a word to the officials when walking on the field, and Lions head coach Dan Campbell was irate with the mix-up because the team had been practicing the play all week. And all week, Decker was the one who reported and caught the ball, just as the play was executed in the game.

"All I really wanna say on it ... I did exactly what coach told me to do," Decker said via The Detroit News. "I went to the ref, said report. ... I did what I was told to do, did how we did it in practice all week."

Video from the game showed that it was Decker, not Skipper, who approached the official, who then told the Dallas defense about him reporting.

"The explanation was 70 reported," Campbell said. "Two people can't report. I don't want to talk about it, alright. I explained everything, pregame, to a T. Seventy reported, 68 didn't, we threw it to 68, that was the explanation."

Coming off winning the NFC North for the first time since the 1993 season, the Lions were looking to build more momentum and better seeding with a win over the Cowboys. The way they lost put a bitter taste in players' mouths, but defensive end Aidan Hutchinson may have had the best perspective of anyone asked about the situation.

"Screw it, I'd rather beat them in the playoffs," Hutchinson said. "That's my mentality."

Skipper reports in

The Lions are prepared to ride this joke until the wheels fall off apparently.

From the Vikings' 2-yard line on Sunday, Detroit had Skipper very clearly report as an eligible receiver when he entered the game.

Unlike last Saturday's play that went to Decker, this one was all a ruse to get Sam LaPorta open for his NFL record 82 receptions for a rookie tight end. He surpassed the mark Keith Jackson set in 1988 with the Philadelphia Eagles. (Unfortunately for the Lions, LaPorta left Sunday's game with an injury.)

Skipper makes the catch

At this point, Detroit is absolutely rubbing the referee's mistake from last week in the NFL's face. Up 13-6 in the third quarter, the Lions decided to use Skipper again as an eligible receiver.

Only this time, they went a step further scheming up a play where he was the intended receiver.

Skipper made the grab along the right sideline and rumbled up the field for a 4-yard gain. Fans at Ford Field went absolutely WILD after the fact.

The drive ultimately concluded with running back David Montgomery scoring a 1-yard rushing touchdown to put Detroit up 20-3 midway through the third frame.

The Lions (12-5) won 30-20 and will host in the wild-card round next weekend.